Embrace the Journey: Cuevas to Run 3,000 Miles Cross-Country for Challenged Athletes Foundation

Embrace the Journey: Cuevas to Run 3,000 Miles Cross-Country for Challenged Athletes Foundation


Adelphi Field Hockey Alum Running from Santa Monica to Montauk.

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - She had little problems covering the 300-foot distance across Motamed Field and back over four years, but Adelphi field hockey alumna Molly Cuevas ('16) is set to embark on a different kind of coast-to-coast journey next month.

Cuevas, a native of San Jose, Calif., will run across the United States from Santa Monica to Montauk, N.Y. to raise funds and awareness for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), a nonprofit based in her home state that provides opportunities and support for athletes who face physical challenges.

The route? Logging 40 miles a day, across 12 states, over three months beginning in April and ending with her return to Long Island in June. Cuevas has launched her own brand, "Miles by Molly," and KGO-TV, the Bay Area ABC7 affiliate, plans to provide updates on her journey. 

In her time in a Panther uniform, Cuevas was a three-time All-American, a four-time Academic All-American, captain and broke nearly every modern-era record the field hockey program had, while also setting some new ones of her own.

Adelphi's career leader in points (134) and assists (52), Cuevas also ranks second in career goals (41), and appeared in all 80 games the Panthers played in her four years.

She led all of NCAA Division II in assists per game twice, and helped lead the team to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and four NE10 playoff berths, which included a share of the regular season conference title in 2015.

But even with her proven athletic prowess, a 3,000-mile journey on foot presents a unique physical and mental challenge – one much bigger than anything she ever faced as a Panther.

"I loved being a student-athlete. Being able to play competitively kept me motivated to excel in other areas of my life. I stayed on track academically more because of sports, I felt a sense of community and school pride by being involved on a team, and I also made relationships I still have today because of collegiate athletics," Cuevas explained.

"I have a lot of Adelphi support from old teammates, coaches, and even professors. The support has been across the board, whether it's by donating, asking how they can help spread the word, or even checking in to see how I am doing or how training is going. I'm more excited knowing I have people in my corner."

The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is the answer to many prayers. It provides opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue an active lifestyle through physical activity and competitive athletics.

In 2017, CAF distributed 2,448 grants across 43 countries. The youngest grantee was 5 years old, and the oldest was 83. 

"Sports have been a vital part of my life and have made me the hard-working, self-assured, go-getter person I am today. Sports create a sense of confidence, community, and empowerment. I believe everyone deserves a chance to participate in such meaningful experiences. CAF gives everyone the chance to participate, and I think more people need to know about this amazing foundation," Cuevas added.

"These things have shaped my decision to run, because I want to be able to help give someone else the opportunity to have those same feelings of motivation, community, and inclusion.

"I chose Challenged Athletes Foundation as the reason for my run because even though I am not physically challenged, I still feel a connection with the foundation. I am challenging myself to help raise funds and awareness for those who challenge themselves every day. I want to use my given athletic ability to help others find theirs."

-Release provided by Adelphi athletic communications staff-

The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete. 

Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.